Siemens Gamesa seeks $90,000/installed MW from GE for Ocean Wind 1

That number came out today in a hearing in the US District Court in Boston, although the judge has not yet ruled on the royalties.

GE is targeting $30,000 per installed megawatt, the same amount a jury awarded Siemens Gamesa for Vineyard 1.

Both projects are excised from a court-ordered Haliade-X injunction that was imposed for infringing on Siemens Gamesa’s intellectual property.

The court is considering “a reasonable exemplary royalty” for Haliade-X turbines installed at Ocean Wind 1 off New Jersey.

Ocean Wind 1, developed by Ørsted and US utility PSEG, should come online in 2025.

But Siemens Gamesa’s attorneys at the hearing, citing court documents filed by the state of New Jersey, say the timing of Ocean Wind 1 is now up in the air.

“The timing of Ocean Wind is now out the window,” an attorney for Siemens Gamesa told Judge William Young.

“If a source of income [for GE] is very doubtful now, then I should be careful,” the Chief Justice replied. He also said the court avoided an independent assessment of reasonable royalties.

Win and loss

During the hearing, Siemens Gamesa’s attorneys said GE would earn $230,000 per installed megawatt for the 1.1 GW Ocean Winds project.

This emerges from a brief filed by Ørsted with the court, whose officers attended the hearing but were not allowed to speak.

According to Ørsted’s brief, GE faces a 14% drop in profits to $197,000 per installed megawatt as a result of the patent dispute, Siemens Gamesa’s lawyer said.

Siemens Gamesa said the $90,000 license fee was justified because GE not only installs the infringing Haliade-X in the US, but also imports it and possibly manufactures it in the US.

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Siemens Gamesa’s legal team demanded immediate payment of the license fees, citing Orsted’s brief as saying GE had already been paid US$120 million for Haliade-X turbines.

GE’s attorneys noted that the jury found that the company did not intentionally infringe Siemens Gamesa’s technology or that the rival firm lost profits.

“There’s no reason to treat Ocean Wind any differently than Vineyard,” said a GE attorney.

“SGRE’s seeking a higher license fee for import and manufacture and installation is a false SGRE pursuit of ‘double recovery,'” GE’s attorney said.

After a trial in June, a jury found that the Haliade-X infringes Siemens Gamesa’s Patent No. 9,279,413 – the ‘413 – for the structural support mechanism of a direct drive offshore turbine and the physical and structural arrangement of the main shaft bearings.

In a dramatic and rare move, the court also imposed an injunction on the Haliade X in the United States.

GE yesterday presented a workaround for the affected technology. The Haliade-X-ii is missing a bearing inside a rotor hub’s hollow shell, according to GE court documents filed Oct. 17 in U.S. District Court.

Specifically, the bearing is located outside of the interior of the rotor hub’s hollow shell — a design that GE says is “state of the art”.

The other design — the Haliade-X-iii — is for a next-generation Haliade-X turbine that also avoids the patented technology, GE said.

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